Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast said the country “must” begin to ship more oil and gas to Asian markets.
Asian countries have an “incentive” to help ensure Canada develops its resources, including the world’s third largest pool of oil reserves, Fast said in a speech at a Vancouver conference organized by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. The country doesn’t export any gas to Japan and very little oil to Asia, he said.
“We want to change that, we must change that,” Fast said, according to a prepared text of the speech provided by his office. “The oil sands are a great Canadian success story and we are keen to export this important energy source to our Pacific neighbors.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has touted Canada as an emerging “energy superpower,” has called it a national priority to build infrastructure that will let Canada diversify energy exports away from the U.S. and ship oil to Asia, a policy that has faced resistance from environmentalists and opposition lawmakers.
International energy giants from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd are considering terminal projects in western Canada to supply Asian utilities and factories that are paying more than four times the price of U.S. markets for natural gas.
To contact the reporter on this story: Theophilos Argitis in Ottawa at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at email@example.com